The Librarian I Used To Be

when i was a little girl,
i wanted to be a librarian -
surrounded by words on pages
and expanding brains.

then one day,
i realized i didn't want to spend my life silencing people.
shushing them, kicking them out, telling them to be quiet and looking for a reason to complain.

i love seeing people dance on public transit.
i love seeing couples fight at dinner.
i love seeing people smiling down at their phone.
i love seeing people shamelessly take selfies in public.
in a country full of civilized men and women, it's refreshing to see people
dance, fight, scream, smile, EXPRESS.

i have no time for blandness anymore.
i keep seeing men order plain bagels with no cream cheese or toppings and i keep on thinking, "WHY? what is the point of eating something with no flavor or substance?"
then i realize some people eat the way they live:
blandly and flavorless, quiet and emotionless... with no depth at all.

so tell me:
what the hell was i doing?
i became the librarian of our own sanctuary,
silencing you when you wanted to sing,
making you static when wanted to be kinetic.
why would i take away your voice?

i would tell you, hoping we could find ourselves again.

why was i holding onto my past,
the books i used to read,
the poets i used to love,
and the librarian i wanted to be?

after all..

i always hated how we went out of our way to go to libraries 
just to pick up books we would never read.

we were not meant to read stories anymore.

we were too busy writing our own.

Life Lessons (And Other Things I've Learned Recently)

1. Passion cannot be transferred.
I am a VERY passionate person, and most people can see that about me right away. But because I am very passionate about my beliefs, love, my fandoms, writing, etc - people assume I can be passionate about anything.

UHHHHH.... FALSE. The whole point about passion is that it is different for every person. It's exclusive to certain things. If anyone could be passionate about anything, we wouldn't have to go through all of those personality quizzes and career tests in school.

That's why we have to RESPECT passion. If you see someone is passionate about something, let them give their energy to that. Let them live. Let them be themselves. Stop asking them to transfer their passion to something else, especially when passion is so very rare.

2. You should never write off people based on your assumptions about them.
Even if you don't judge people in a negative way, that doesn't mean you're not judging people. We see  people and the vibe they're giving off. What they're wearing, who they're with, their age and appearance, where they are. Whether it's subconscious or not, we assume things about them from that. If I see a girl around my age wearing a cute dress with a peter pan collar, I'll assume she engages in a similar lifestyle and likes the same things as I do, which is not always the case. And vise versa. If I go to another state or country, where everyone is culturally different, I'll assume we have nothing in common and cannot relate to each other. Again, wrong. How I realized this, you ask?

There I was. Seeing this guy everyday, because he was temporarily working with me. I literally didn't even bother to talk to him. He was quiet and smelled like cigarettes. He looked so different from me and I assumed so much about him, his interests and his lifestyle just by his energy and his appearance. And why even talk to him? I know we have to work by each other for a week or two, but I'll probably never see him again.

Well, on his second to last day working with me, I started a conversation just for the hell of it because I was in a good mood. I found out so much about him within the first 5 minutes of the conversation. He just got out of rehab and is now sober, which is seriously AWESOME. I felt so proud of this person that I just met. Everything he said to me came from such a wholesome, honest place. He taught me a lot about alcoholism just in that 5 minutes, which proved to me that starting a conversation with him was totally worth it.

And you know how I thought we have absolutely nothing in common? Later in the conversation, I found out he was OBSESSED with Disneyland and in love with the Disney company just like I was, which was so unexpected! That made my day, knowing our love from Disney made us relate to each other.

I'll probably never see the guy again, but he taught me one thing. To never miss out on a conversation that could be life-changing, and to never write someone off based on your assumptions about them. You two could have more in common than you think.

3. Environment is everything, sometimes. (But you can't let it define you.)
The unfortunate truth. Sometimes, the cause of my emptiness and my depression is 95% my environment. The toxic people I'm forced to be around, the darkness, the dust. Even the lack of opportunities or progress around you. It really can get to you. I'm all about energies, you know? And when all I see around me is toxic darkness, it can really hurt.

You can't always escape from this, at least right away, but there's one thing you can do: rise above it. Trust me on this one, it's hard, but it's worth it.

Every so often, I feel this almost indescribable emptiness that comes from the environment around me. It's like I'm waiting to escape, but I can't. I have to wait. I can't erase that emptiness completely, but I can at least try to fly above it and enjoy every moment. I have to.

4. I don't really feel comfortable selling things to people, I would rather help them. I think America's business model would do significantly better that way.
From working in retail-based jobs to blogging and professionally writing click bait for a living, you realize that every business you work for or with WANTS YOU TO UPSELL, UPSELL, UPSELL. They don't care about you or respect you. They want you to sell their product for them, with almost zero incentive.

I grew up pretty poor, and even now, I work for all the money that I earn. So when I go into a store and the employees are forcing products down my throat, it makes me feel insanely uncomfortable. First of all, another human being is treating me like a mindless consumer, which makes me feel disrespected and disposable.

I truly believe a good company or brand doesn't have to promote the hell out of their product and upsell like crazy to actually sell their products. A good company is a good company and that's really all there is to it.

So forget upselling and shameless promoting. I would rather help others. If they want to purchase something, I will use my honesty to guide them. People work hard for their money and it's insulting to use them just so you look better. And I'm honestly sick of companies expecting me to sell for them without fair compensation, you know? Let people buy what they want and let people promote what they want. The best man will always win.

5. Cherish the people in your life that actually take you seriously, because it's rare.
I just realized this over the course of the past few months. What do I mean by 'take you seriously?' People that talk to you in such a genuine, wholesome way. I sometimes feel like conversation has changed so much over the years, whereas we don't even think about what we're saying or how to relate to others.

People who take you seriously will:

  • Talk about the little things like they matter. They care about your favorite type of bagel and your favorite iced teas, instead of acting like it doesn't matter. Pay attention to the people you're hanging out with. Do they take the time to ask you what you like? 
  • Respectfully react to your problems. Bad childhood? Going to AA meetings? Going through a divorce? Instead of ignoring your problem or making fun of it, they'll respect your strength and be there to actually talk to you. You know, like a person. I really like when people are upfront with me and tell me things they're going through, because it shows they are strong enough to do so, but also that they trust me. It also makes me feel like I can tell them about my problems and they won't make me feel ashamed or awkward about it.
  • Stop using sarcasm and other negative tactics to communicate with you. This is actually something I noticed in high school. When people 'flirt,' they would just push each other around. Friends would greet each other with swear words and rude sarcasm constantly. I love sarcasm and all, but when it's the ONLY way you know how to communicate with others...that connection is not real. When I saw that most of my friends were communicating that way, I dropped a lot of them. I had dreams and opinions that I wanted to share, but it felt like I was being mimicked constantly for things I actually cared about.
  • They will remember things about you. When you talk to somebody, you're supposed to listen to them, so you slowly but surely pick up what they're passionate about, what they like, etc. People always act so shocked when I remember their name or their favorite songs or how old they are, when they can't even remember what hair color I have. You don't have to memorize a person, but it's respectful to have a general idea of who they are. It really makes me happy when someone knows I like something, so they ask me about it. Recently, here's what people have been asking me that proved they're listening: "Hey Maria, what do you think about all the drama going on on Youtube? Have you seen any previews for the new Assassins Creed game yet? There's this feminist thread I think you'd like. Disney is coming out with a new ride, what do you think?" That's the kind of stuff that makes life worth living! Find out what people like, relate to them, and talk! It's not that complicated. 
  • Stop making everything in the conversation about them. We all know people like that. You don't want to tell them anything about you or your life because you know they're not going to respond to it, they'll just turn it around and make it about them. No thank you. The only time they really want to know something from you is if it's an amazing story that they can tell everyone else, or if they're just plain nosy and want some juice on your life. 
  • They'll talk to you like a person. Not a gender, not a job position, not a number, or whatever else. This is my favorite thing in the whole wide world, I swear. 

Everything You Need to Know About Katy Perry's New Lipstick Line

Good news! Queen Katy Perry just released a new line of vibrant lipsticks called Katy Kat Matte, and I literally can't wait to get my hands on them! I can already see the swatches on my arms. So, what does Perry say about the line? She told Vogue that she wants to “push the envelope with CoverGirl. You know, a black lipstick or a blue mascara is very Tumblr—I told them, this is what’s happening online, this is what everyone’s Instagramming.” She'll be releasing them with COVERGIRL this May in all of these bold, summery shades for any California girl. 

And wait until you see the super-instagrammable packaging. (Katy was right!) 
I've never seen anything so beautiful. Nudes, pinks, and even black and purple? This has Katy Perry written all over it. All of the shades names are cat-inspired, just in case you needed another reason to love her lipsticks. Cosmo Kitty, Perry Panther, Maroon get the point. It's super affordable (it is Covergirl after all), and we can all use that right now, especially considering al celebrity lipsticks go between 20-50 thank you. If you don't want to search through stores in May to find your favorite shade, you can preorder 11 of the 13 shades here

These 5 Social Media Habits Are Making You Depressed


Bad news: using social media makes you more prone to depression. A new study took a survey of 1,787 adults between the ages of 19 and 32 and compared their social media usage to their happiness. The study showed that the adults that used social media the most were significantly more likely to be depressed. Uh-oh. The authors of the study don't recommend to shut down social media completely, but they've got me thinking: what can we do to use social media in a healthy way? There are so many cyber habits all of us are guilty of that can make us a tad bit gloomier than we'd like to be. Here are the social media habits that can easily get you down.
1. Constantly comparing yourself to others.
We all do it, sometimes without even realizing it. You're scrolling down your feed and you can't help but find yourself thinking, "How is he spending the summer in Italy? How did she afford that Williamsburg apartment? Wait, how is she engaged already? And why is her waist so perfect?" After seeing how great everyone else is doing, you start questioning yourself and it takes a toll on your self-esteem. The thing about social media is people CHOOSE what to post and how the world sees them, so you don't even know if what you're seeing is 100% accurate. 
2. Living for the gram instead of living for yourself.
You start buying things with the main intention being to Instagram it. You start doing things just so people know you did it. You make a fool of yourself in public just so you can look funny on Snapchat or Vine. You're willing to hurt others just to get retweets on Twitter. The motivation for things you do is all based on internet popularity instead of what you actually want, causing your life to become bland and inauthentic. You don't care what the moment feels like, you just care that it looks good online. 
3. Being exposed to bad news a bit too much.
When you're on Facebook, it's like someone you know breaks up with someone, gets really sick, dies, or gets arrested every day. The news can be a lot to handle and is something you normally wouldn't be exposed to if you didn't have social media. There's the personal news, but then there's the national news that literally only reports the bad news. If you're only exposed to negativity, it's going to suck the happiness out of you. There's obviously so much good in the world, but sometimes, the internet will only tell you about the bad. And let's be honest, no one likes seeing everyones annoying political rants on display 24/7. 
4. Not properly communicating with others by using social media as a replacement. 
Social media is an awesome way for us to keep in touch with our family, our old friends, colleagues, and so on. But instead of giving them a call or shooting them a text, we like their photos. It's a way of saying "I like that you did this! Hope you're doing good," without actually saying it. Instead of meeting old friends for lunch or checking in on them to see how they're doing, we just follow them on social media. It gives us the opportunity to stay connected to them without really being connected to them. That's good for some relationships, but sometimes, it's neglectful and can make you feel quite lonely in the long run.
5. Letting social media eat up your day. 
The time while waiting for the bus, between clients at work, the time lying in bed at night. All of those little moments where you try to get updated on Instagram or Twitter through the day slowly but surely add up. Most of us use social media throughout our entire day, but only a little bit at a time, so it feels like we don't use it that much. But checking your phone that much isn't the best habit to have. 

These Lisa Frank Memes Will Make Your Week SO Much Better

In a world where most memes are making fun of society and complaining about life, it's nice to find some common ground. Which is why I'm head-over-heels in love with these memes by Lisa Frank! It comes from such a wholesome, pure place and mixes with that 90's to 2000's nostalgia we all can't get enough of. Remember those stickers you used to put on literally everything? Chances are, those were Lisa Frank.
If you need a midweek pick-me-up, I HIGHLY recommend you scroll through these adorkble memes, courtesy of the Lisa Frank Facebook page, a virtual beautiful place I spent way too much time on.
Happy weekend cuties, STAY POSTIVE!

Don't Date Someone You Can't Have Fun at the Grocery Store With

don’t date someone you can’t have fun at the grocery store with.

let them sit in the cart and push them around.
have a heated debate over what you should have for dinner tonight: pizza rolls or burritos?
debate solved: burritos with pizza rolls inside.
give them your cardigan in the frozen section even though you’re freezing.
walk through every aisle and tell them what you think of everything,
and listen to their input too.
what was their favorite childhood candy? what tea can they not get enough of? what potato chip have they been hopelessly craving lately?
listen, and listen because you want to.
hold their hand through every aisle and be enthusiastic about everything you see.

observe the people around you.
hundreds of people so anxious to leave, sweating bullets just to get their organic produce, with a distraught look on their face.
then you’ll give your lover that one look that only you two understand,
because when you’re together, everything is colorful.

when you love someone,
every errand should be a thrilling excursion
and every obligation should be a laughable odyssey.

waiting in line at the DMV becomes a spiritual experience
and your car breaking down in the middle of nowhere becomes one for the books.

the common herd of unhappy people with bland relationships will tell you to lower your expectations,
but they couldn’t be more wrong.

you deserve to see in color, not in black and white.

if your lover is monochromatic, leave.
you deserve someone who is willing to show you all of their colors.

don’t settle for a lukewarm lover who won’t take the time to know your fiery complex soul.
and if you can’t have fun with them at the grocery store,
maybe you’re better off alone.

My Birthday at Disneyland

On April 6th, 2016, it was my birthday and I spent the entire day at one of my favorite places on Earth: DISNEYLAND. Why would I do anything else anyways?

Here I am on April 7th, reflecting on the beauty that was yesterday. Disney hangovers are what keeps me going back to the happiest place on Earth. The moment you get home, you fall into a deep sleep. Your feet hurt and you can't keep your eyes open. But when you wake up hours later, you can't help but ask yourself, "When will I go to Disneyland next? I miss it already."

Because I've been to Disneyland so much within the past year and most of the times I was in a costume working, I was afraid that the magic would fade and I would no longer have an interest in going.

So far, it hasn't been like that. It's all about going when you really want to, and taking in each and every moment. Usually, when people plan trips to a Disney park, they spend most of their time stressing out and planning instead of actually having fun. "OKAY. We need to get two fastpasses within the next 30 minutes. You go to Cars Land and I'll go to Tomorrowland. And we need to meet Goofy and Pluto at 1:30, so we need to wait in line and time it PERFECTLY, got it? Right after that, we have reservations at the Blue Bayou so we need to hurry. OH WAIT! HOW ARE WE GONNA GET SEATS FOR PAINT THE NIGHT?" By the end of the day, you start wondering if you even made the most of your time.

Every single time I go to Disneyland, I just go with the flow and play it all by ear. I don't force myself to go on as many rides as possible, I don't wait around in line and I don't sit around for hours just to 'get a good spot.' It's all about just taking it in, and when you see something you like, do it. There's really no need to stress. Of course you should have a general idea of what you want to do at the park, but everyday is unpredictable.

I just aimlessly walk around with a smile on my face: eating what I want, running to rides when I see the line is short, observing all that's around me. Disney changes so often, so going to the park never really gets old. And that's what I did yesterday on my birthday. I didn't take enough pictures to accurately describe the day because I was too busy enjoying it, but heres some pictures anyways!

Breakfast buffet at Plaza Inn AKA best breakfast of my life.

For some odd reason beyond my control, I've always hated the color orange. But these orange flowers captured my heart. I think I like orange now, it reminds me of these flowers, orange juice and halloween.

We met Judy & Nick from Zootopia which was a dream come trueeeeee! Andrew was in the middle of talking to the photographer, just ignore that. ^_^ 


Holding hands in Paradise Pier...

Another shot of breakfast because it deserves that kind of love.

Cute mint julep, cute boy, cute shirt.

I spend too much time observing the animals at D-LAND. This turtle and these baby ducks, though.

Starbucks inside of Disneyland tastes better than every other Starbucks in the world.

I couldn't get over how gorgeous this gift card was. I don't think I'll ever be able to throw it out. 

Believe it or not, I never actually walked inside the Animation Academy. Andrew and I walked into it by accident and spent so much time just watching songs & video clips from our favorite Disney films, there were screens all around us, it was SO EPIC. (Also, we were eating Pizza popcorn from Cozy Cones.)


So maybe the Coachella lineup this year isn't exactly idea, but there's one thing we can all look forward to - FESTIVAL FASHION.

I'm very upfront with my opinions on fashion, and I've always hated the whole bohemian fashion trend, which usually dominates festivals. I don't like feathers in my hair, I don't care for aztec prints, I don't like my dresses to be longer than my knees, and I hate shades that come with it: awkward neons, annoying sky blues, dingy browns and even dingier whites. It seems like it's almost purposely dirty so everyone can look like hippies.

The funny thing is: you see people at Coachella wearing this boho-hippie fashion and you assume it'll be affordable. Then you see their outfit is worth THOUSANDS. WHAT? I could get your outfit at a thrift store for ten bucks, what are you doing. 

Regardless of my hatred for the 'boho chic' trend, I still love looking at festival fashion. You know how the first day of school or the first day back after winter break you always tried to look amazing? You got your new outfit planned and you cannot wait to show everyone at school how high fashion you are. (even if you got your outfit at Target or something, like me.)

That's exactly how festival fashion is! Everyone claims to be there for the music, but everyones checking everyones outfit out. It's all about the DETAILS. I mean, once you're photographed at Coachella, that picture lives in history forever, man.

Although I won't be attending Coachella this year, I am excited to see the fashion that comes from it. I think we're gonna see a shift from last year for sure. Andrew and I loved the H&M Loves Coachella collaboration - it was festival-esque without being obnoxiously boho, and had options for everyone. I loved how they incorporated denim and black, because not everyone wants aztec prints!

Here's our take on festival fashion with the H&M Loves Coachella collection.

My look:
Denim Bib Overall Shorts - $34.99
Floral sunglasses - $9.99 (Not online)
White crop top - $17.99 (Not online)

His look:
Floral black shirt - $17.99 (Not online)

The Calm Fog


you may just know me as the girl who was hopelessly in love with harry potter,
and i can live with that.

you were always the harry to my hermione,
flushing away my erratic anxiety
with the rudest sense of realism,
with talks of insects
and suicide
and the big bang theory.

i never played with the slugs at recess
because i didn't want anyone to know i got my hands dirty for you.

your laziness made me look fiercely productive.
and now, i could use that juxtaposition in my life more than ever.

you were the calm fog i saw on highland every morning.
i never saw what was ahead of me which caused me to be unstable -
but you made me feel okay with it all.
calm fog, lazy fog, gray fog. 
making my surroundings slowly fade away.

no one liked you but i did.
i always had a thing for
tragic heroes
and astrophysicists.

you scientifically proved to me that gravity doesn't exist.
so every time my hypersensitive heart aches and i feel the weight of one billion quarks on my chest,
i laugh and i laugh,
because it's not real.

i had the best adventures of my life killing zombies with you.

i was so deathly afraid you would spend your life alone and eventually turn into one of the zombies we killed together.

because i always loved you in such a pure way. 
(but not enough to hold you.)

now i see you through a familiar lens,
smiling, with your head up, aware as ever.
and most importantly. so, so alive. 

i hope you're killing stronger zombies
and discovering more universes.
i know i am.